The Brick Book provides invaluable information on Bricks, Bricklaying, Masonry, Masons, Brick Mortar, Brick Veneer, Brick Cleaning, Lime Mortar, Recycled Bricks, Brick Patterns, Brick Fireplaces, Architecture, Design and Building.


About the author

John Oliver has been involved in the building industry for about 40 years. In his career, among other things, he has been an architectural designer, building products representative, building inspector, contracts manager, a product manager and technical adviser for NZFP.

From 1993 - 2005, he held the position of Technical Manager for Monier Bricks Ltd.

Since 2005, he has been a self employed Building Consultant with a speciality in brick veneer construction. He has been a board member of the NZ Masonry Trades Registration Board, the Claddings Institute of NZ and Certified Builders Association of NZ. He brings this wealth of experience to this publication.

From the author

The wide and diverse sectors of the building industry, from architect to bricklayer to builder to student, that this book may appeal to, has called for a unique ‚Foreword; from not one individual, but several, each conveying their opinion relevant to their sector. Reference to the contributors will provide you with a specific comment from your profession or trade, upon the contribution this book may offer.

John Oliver

john olivier set


„I found this book to be most interesting and educational - we never stop learning. I am sure it will become the reference for brickwork in New Zealand. John has achieved a balanced and thoughtful publication - he must have bricks on both shoulders! It should appeal to a wide range of readers - architects, tradespeople, and even people building their first home.
The thoroughness of the book is its best quality - it doesn’t get bogged down in anyone subject, but covers them all. It finishes as strongly as it starts. Sufficient information is provided for each topic, and when necessary, it says where to go to find additional help.
Congratulations John on a very fine effort. Having written one or two technical articles myself, I realise the time and effort to create this wonderful document would have been immense. The industry is greatly indebted to you.”

Philip O’Sullivan
Prendos Ltd
BRANZ Accredited Adviser
Chairman of the Claddings Institute of New Zealand

„At last a comprehensive book on bricks, with all the information at your fingertips.
No more searching the volumes and screeds of information from manufacturers and various authors on the dos and don’ts with bricks.
The facts on the history of bricks and brickmaking, along with the technical information, and the sketches, is clearly set out and is easily read.
This is a book for all in the Building Industry.”

John Sheriff
Managing Director
Project Co-Ordinators Limited President -Auckland Master Builders Assn.

„The colonial history of residential building in New Zealand is one of finding a nearby tree, cutting it down and cladding the walls with it. Many early settlers commented on the large amount of timber buildings, and even today British and European immigrants remark on the perceived ‚flimsiness’ of timber, and the sight of suburban ‚do-it-yourselfers’ painting their houses every ten years.
Brick was the material of choice, the use of which proved long-term commitment, solidity and a certain wealth.
Today, perversely, brick is not as popular with many designers because clients simply choose it as a low-maintenance veneer, swapping with monolithic finishes or timber when expedience dictates, rather than choosing brick for its inherent aesthetics. The ‚brick-and-tile’ connotations label it old-fashioned.
It need not be like this. A look through English brick catalogues and architectural magazines shows a huge range of available shapes and colours detailed precisely to achieve a contemporary style. The ‚low-tech’ solidity of brick can be combined with lightweight metal and glass to create rich contrasts of material and texture.
This book thoroughly explores the nature and end uses of bricks. The extensive detailing should prevent brick being applied as a two-dimensional ‚wrapping’ at the end of the design process, and improve the knowledge of the tradesperson. Whilst not expecting a religious experience a la Mies, this publication will engender greater respect for the material.”

Paul Edmond